Gary Forrest has been talking about the Railwaymen’s upcoming league matches against two of their title rivals, and the pressure is on the opposition, he says.
“On Saturday we visit Celtic Nation for the first of two back to back games against sides challenging us for the league title,” says the Shildon manager.
“If I’m honest all the pressure is on Celtic Nation for this game. They are the team that everyone expects big things of. They are by far the strongest team in the league on paper and, more importantly, if they lose this game they will trail us by 5 points and we will have two games in hand, and that lead could therefore extend to about 9-10 points with Nation having just 12 games remaining.
“If we averaged the same amount of points in our final 12 games as we have for the season to date it would mean that they will have to win every game until the season finishes.
Gary added that the squad is in good spirits, insisting that the league title is the club’s primary aim.
“Our attitude is superb at the minute and I love these big games: it is what the game is all about. There is a great buzz about the place at the minute and the quality of our training is superb.
“I have said since the start of pre-season – despite what the nonleaguezone [online forum] experts claim – that our main objective is to try and win the league this season.
Gary says that the challenge is so great this season that winning the league will be a special achievement for whoever lifts the trophy.
“This is the strongest the league has been for many a season,” he says. “Over the last few years either Spennymoor have dominated or it has been a two horse race. This season there are four fantastic teams challenging for the title and that means there will be 12 games this season that can be classed as six pointers. Last season there were two, but there is more of an equilibrium of budgets this season, with all four sides having strength in depth.
“We have all witnessed West’s demolition of teams two levels higher in the pyramid and Celtic Nation are signing experienced, established players on loan from the likes of Bristol Rovers. I think it is fair to say that any one of the top four would be more than capable of competing at least two levels higher up the pyramid; and it is for the reasons above that I personally believe that this is the most difficult season for many a year to become league champions.
“Whoever comes out on top can proudly boast of a fabulous achievement.”